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Constructing Buildings and New Perspectives

April 8, 2016 at 6:57 AM UTC
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amy M. Ressler, USNS Spearhead Public Affairs

DOUALA, Cameroon – Sailors assigned to USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1) worked with Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 in Douala, Cameroon April 1.

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NMCB 133 has been tasked with constructing one of three multipurpose buildings that will serve as training facilities for Exercise Central Accord.

“I’m very excited to have Spearhead crew members working out here with us and getting an opportunity to see what the other side does,” said Chief Builder Christopher Locke, senior enlisted leader for NMCB 133 detail, Cameroon. “I think it helps us appreciate what everyone has to offer.”

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Exercise Central Accord brings together partner nations to demonstrate proficiency in a scenario that replicates the United Nations (UN) multinational integrated stabilization mission in Central Africa Republic and is focused on the staff and Troop Contributing Countries (TCC) that will support peacekeeping operations.

Eight Spearhead Sailors worked alongside NMCB 133 moving piles of rebar and finishing formwork prior to a concrete pour for the foundation of the first building.

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“It was a great learning experience bringing together two separate sides of the Navy,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Ryan Feeney, Spearhead boat crew leading petty officer. “We got to see the vast differences in living and working conditions, really putting things into perspective.”

Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) Seaman Apprentice Shaquan Bishop echoed Feeney’s sentiment.

“I really enjoyed the camaraderie with the hardworking men and women on their team. The experience was awesome seeing and learning what the Seabees do.”

Central Accord 2016 is scheduled to take place in June. In 2015 approximately 400 personnel participated in Central Accord from 13 African and European militaries and the U.S. In addition to the field training exercise in Central Accord 2016 it is anticipated at least 900 service members will attend.

“Another opportunity that we are coordinating is a bilateral engineering engagement,” said Locke. “Cameroon is going to provide six of their military engineers to come out and work side by side with our crew members for the duration of the project sharing construction methods and standards.”

The Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1) is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to support the international collaborative capacity-building program Africa Partnership Station.

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